Wounded Iraq War Vet Wins Ill. Primary
By DENNIS CONRAD, Associated Press Writer2 hours, 1 minute ago
Iraq war veteran L. Tammy Duckworth, a former Army helicopter pilot who lost her legs in a grenade attack two years ago, narrowly won the Democratic congressional primary nomination for the suburban Chicago district held by retiring Republican Rep. Henry Hyde (news, bio, voting record).
She privately disagreed with President George W. Bush's decision to invade Iraq, but still volunteered to serve.
"We should have been fighting the enemies that attacked us at home on 9/11," she said in December when she announced her candidacy. "We should have been out there trying to catch Osama bin Laden."
She does not favor an immediate troop withdrawal but prefers setting "benchmarks" for leaving Iraq, such as pulling out U.S. battalions one-for-one as Iraqi security battalions take over.
Duckworth, who has degrees in political science and international affairs, says she decided to run after attending Bush's State of the Union address in January 2005 as a guest of Sen. Durbin, and testifying before veteran affairs committees on Capitol Hill.
The daughter of a retired Marine, Duckworth was born in Bangkok, where her father did U.N. refugee work and married Lamai Sompornpairin, an ethnic Chinese. She spent much of her youth in Southeast Asia.